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From Steve Loughran <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Bug Tracking System
Date Wed, 21 Jan 2004 09:55:49 GMT
Gus Heck wrote:
> My non-non commiter vote:
>> [ ] +1 Bugzilla sucks - go to Jira
>> [x] -1 BugZilla rocks - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Oh, this is good.

I agree with you; bug entry is critical.

When we used Rational ClearQuest, I once spent 30 minutes filling in 
some inordinately complex form describing a hard to replicate problem, 
with all the test data, etc.

Then I hit submit, and got

"session timed out"

needless to say, I was not happy - we moved to bugzilla shortly 
thereafter, showing that usability comes above seamless integration with 
SCM tools.

> Doesn't it figure. I read a similar commons thread, and wrote a long 
> email about why I think bugzilla is friendlier to the novice user than 
> both JIRA and Scarab then I come here and see the same issue. Apparently 
> I should have wrote it here... That is what I get for reading the other 
> mail first :)  One of the biggest strengths of Ant (and any OSS project) 
> is the user feedback from both experienced and novice users... Here is 
> most of what I posted (minus a question that has already been answered 
> there), which I think we should consider here too. (I don't beleive it 
> is likely to have hit the archives yet or I would link it).
> I sometimes think that there is an aspect of the ASF bug tracking 
> systems that gets forgotten... How easy it is to learn to use them. As a 
> contributer to Ant, and an operator of my own bugzilla, I have been very 
> satisfied with bugzilla in this repsect. The first time I ever used 
> bugzilla I had no trouble figuring out how to do a query, or fill in a 
> bug form. The query form seemed a bit disorganized, but there were lots 
> of explanatory links and with a little looking I found the submit button 
> without too much trouble. I have not once had to explain details of how 
> to use bugzilla to users of my bugzilla, nor have I recieved complaints 
> about it. Some of the users are introductory programming students who 
> have never used any bug tracker before.
> In contrast, I don't like scarab. I have several times found issues in 
> OJB (relating to JDO implementations), but they use Scarab. Scarab I 
> regret to say is quite difficult to use (at least if you don't already 
> know how to use it, or maybe only if you are used to using bugzilla, I 
> don't know which). It entirely fails to document itself clearly. 
> Bugzilla has explanitory links all over it's bug creation and query 
> forms, which is something I beleive to be critical to a bug tracking 
> system that will be accessed by users who are not already familiar with 
> it. I have several times tried to use Scarab, and each time it has 
> failed, or it has eaten all my plain text formatting by coalescing all 
> the whtiespace (that makes stack traces really fun to read), or whatnot. 
> I am sure it is user error on my part, but so far I really haven't had 
> time to find out where to read up on how to properly use Scarab. Another 
> annoyance is that after you sign up for an account with scarab it tells 
> you you must "request" membership in a project, which seems to imply 
> that you might be rejected. Really not a very welcoming start.
> The systems used at apache should (IMHO) be transparent, user friendly 
> and self explanitory. If they want users to report bugs in their 
> software, it should be easy to learn the system. The current result with 
> Scarab and me, is if I see that a project uses scarab, I only report 
> bugs on their mailing list. I suppose if I decide I want to become a 
> direct contriubuter to a project that uses Scarab, or I have some free 
> time and think of it, I will take the time do the research to figure out 
> how to enter bugs properly in Scarab.
> So I wrote the above mostly based on the gut reaction, oh no not another 
> bug system to fight with...
> After looking at Jelly's JIRA as linked from their project pages 
> (, it 
> is clear that there are some nice features, it looks nicer than both 
> bugzilla and scarab and is and friendlier than scarab, but I do see one 
> major usability glitch. Nowhere did I see a link for Entering a bug. 
> This is the main reason people come to a bug database. How can there not 
> be a link on the front page for it!?!? I have a strong suspeicion that 
> such a link would have appeared had I created an account and logged in, 
> but there was no link for that either... just a log in link. (now I 
> think it is vairly likely if I followed the log in link it would 
> eventually get me to an account creation link, but....) Only my existing 
> knowledge of how web apps and bug trackers tend to work tells me that. 
> Nothing on the page helps you enter a bug. (unless I am blind or stupid, 
> both of which happen occasionally). It could use more explanitory links 
> too, but at least there was a help link (once I saw the really tiny 
> bubble thing in the upper right) that led to a detailed manual (though 
> that manual didn't have a "Enter a bug" section). I didn't have time to 
> browse the manual deeply, but this is still inferior to links on the 
> issue entry page, because the user must leave the page, and search the 
> manual for the item they don't understand, rather than being taken 
> directly to the item. It's hypertext man, take advantage of that!
> The entry page is is a stark contrast to bugzilla where you are 
> immediately provided with links to do each of the main tasks (quick 
> search, detailed query, enter bug, get summaries, log in, create 
> account). Whatever reason someone came to a bugzilla front page, (other 
> than by accident) the link is there where they can't miss it.
> So my order of preference for bug tracking from a "support the novice 
> user" perspective is:
> Bugzilla
> Scarab
> Just my $0.02 worth (I don't get much per word do I?),
> -Gus
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